I found a vintage linen tablecloth at a local antique shop and used it to make clutch purses in blue for my sister in law, pink for her Mom and her soon-to-be Mother in law. I’m not sure when the tablecloth was made, but from researching the embroidery style, it may be from the 1950s. It felt cruel to cut up something beautiful that some unknown person spent time making, but I decided they wanted their work to be loved and used, above all else. The bride loves them, and they’ll be quite loved on her big day! Maybe they’ll even be passed on to a few future brides down the road.
It was -14° F at my house this morning, so naturally I went out on the porch to blow bubbles. Bubbles don’t pop when it’s that cold, they either land and deflate or shatter in the air.
Oddly enough, I also finished my “On the Bubble” quilt. (Tutorial can be found here.)
Stay warm, my friends!
Making an On the Bubble quilt is a lot of fun because you get to combine solids and scrappiness all in one visually interesting quilt. I named it “On the Bubble” because of the appliqued circles, but also because the placement of the color values of the squares builds an illusion of a curve where none exists. I made mine with shades of gray, but you could easily convert this to an ombre selection of fabrics, or for a different look you could switch the solids and prints to have a layer of solid bubbles floating over colorful scrappy squares. This will make a lap sized quilt about 67.5″ square.
I purchased a yard each of Robert Kaufman’s Kona cotton solids as listed below. Beside them I’ll list the number of five inch squares you’ll need of each:
- White 13
- Silver 24
- Shadow 28
- Medium Gray 36
- Coal 44
- Charcoal 52
- Pepper 28
You’ll also need 225 circles cut from various scraps.
I used a 2.75″ diameter circle template. I’ve made a circle template and a placement template that you can download and print on cardstock: On The Bubble Templates from CoopCrafts_20150206_0001. I traced 225 circles onto the paper side of Heat n Bond Light. (Numbering the circles as you trace will help you keep track.) Then roughly cut them out, leaving a little space around the edge of each circle. Follow package directions to attach the circles to the back side of your fabric scraps, then trim carefully around each circle. You can use the placement template provided (cut out the center square) to help you center the circles, or if you have one, you can add washi tape to your five inch square ruler as I did below. Then, following package directions, attach the circles to your squares.
The next step is to stitch around your circles. If you want to keep your edges neat and free from fraying, use a zigzag stitch that encloses the edge of the circle. For my quilt, I’ve used a vintage hand crank machine that only makes straight stitches (and doesn’t stitch in reverse), so the edges of my circles will lift over time to give ruffly, textural interest. For whichever method you choose, I recommend this trick to keep your applique from unraveling. If using straight stitches, complete about three rounds, as seen below. Try not to stitch over the edges if you’re going to let them ravel, but let the circles “drift” a bit as you sew, kind of like the first few rounds of a Spirograph drawing.
The backs will look like this, with the thread ends neatly tied:
Once all your circles have been appliqued, it’s time to lay out your squares. Here’s the fancy grid I used, direct from my sketchbook, with the color numbers from above to help with placement.
It may help to start in one corner. Once you approach the middle, it’ll be easier to see and follow the pattern.
Mine looked like this, with a couple squares needing to be remade because my hand crank machine gets grouchy as her bobbin runs low.
Begin stitching your rows together, taking time to admire your favorite fabrics as you go. This was a gift from a friend and I love it!
And although it’s not even quilted yet, I’m sharing the tutorial because several Instagram friends are eager to start bubble quilts of their own.
If you make one, I’d love to see it!
- Painting an Ikea Laminate Table
- Kitchen Makeover, still unblogged and one or two steps from completion
- American Made Brand Placemats
- Wonky Stars Baby Boy Quilt
- Deer Quilt
- Deegie Face Quilt (Looks like I never took finished pics of this one!)
- WIP 24 Years Quilt (Still working on this one, I took a break.)
- Honeybee Quilt
- Little Stars Quilts
- City Grid Pillow
- Hashtag Quilt (Link at Honeybee quilt, above)
- West Virginia License Plate Block
- NYC Nightstand (Finished but not blogged, pics in IG under #NYCtable)
- Japanese Patchwork Purse
- Painted Singer Treadle Sewing Machine Table
Looking forward to a creative and productive 2015!